The concept of "Projection", as it relates to counseling or psychology is considered a defense mechanism. This mechanism protects the individual against unconscious desires or impulses that they don't want to know exists within themselves. As a result of this denial, the unwanted quality or impulse is projected onto another outside of themselves, much like a movie projector creates an image on a movie screen. Not only do they see the quality in the other, but they often react to the quality as if it was something external to themselves. What a jerk he is or what a, "whatever" she is being. Even motivations can be contributed to the other that doesn't exist. We could even project our own arrogance or or defensiveness on to the other. The individual may then react to their own projection as if it the quality or trait in the other. I recently heard a couples therapist make the statement that couples counseling is a "drop of center". The speaker stated that someone will drop their partner to therapy so that the therapist can fix them. Our problems so frequently seem to be caused by the other or factors external to ourselves. We might think of this psychological concept as more recent, however, even in the bible, the question is asked. "Why do you see the speck in your brother's eye, but can not see the plank in your own"? In couples or marital counseling it is common to see these types of projections. As I have mentioned, much of couples counseling is geared toward helping the couple see each other more accurately. It is almost difficult to imagine that one could see the other as containing within them so many of the negative qualities that actually is contained unconsciously within themselves. As silly as it sounds it would be quite possible for someone to divorce their partner because they see them as a negative, annoying, and uncaring troll, In this case they might not be divorcing their partner, but the image they have of their partner. Certainly everyone can be self centered and thoughtless at times, but they might not be the monster they appear to be to their partner. To be even a little more silly, we could say that they didn't really divorce their partner, they divorced themselves and didn't know it. They could potentially move on to the next partner and do it all over again. Maybe a few times.
Projection and Intimate Relationships
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